Walter A. Pennino – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army


Combat Infantryman Badge

From a contemporary press report:

Walter A. Pennino, 83, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and former government official who had operated his own public relations business in Vienna since the mid-1970s, died of cancer April 10, 1998at the Hospice of Northern Virginia. He lived in Vienna, Virginia.

Colonel Pennino, who settled in the Washington area in the mid-1950s, was born in Boston and attended the University of Maryland and Boston and American universities. He entered the Army in World War II and served with 7th Armored Division in Europe, receiving two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, two Army Commendation Medals, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

He worked on the national desk of the Boston Globe newspaper before returning to active Army duty during the Korean War. He did public information work and was at Inchon for that historic amphibious operation. After the war, he rose to the post of information director for Army reserve and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) affairs before retiring from active duty in the late 1950s.

Colonel Pennino then worked for the Commerce Department, where he was information coordinator for the Bureau of International Commerce, and the Patent Office before transferring to NASA in the mid-1960s. Before retiring from NASA and government work in the mid-1970s, he did advance work for foreign goodwill tours made by astronauts and became director of NASA’s public relations program.

In addition to his work in government and private industry, he also had been a freelance writer, contributing articles from the Far East and Europe that were published by such organizations as The Washington Post and the Boston Globe.

Coonel. Pennino was a recipient of the American Public Relations Society’s highest honor, its Silver Anvil. He was a founding member of the National Press Institute and member of the National Press Club, the American Legion, the National Italian-American Foundation, and Westwood Country Club.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Martha, of Vienna; a son, Walter Jr., of Fredericksburg; three daughters, Donna Howard of Honolulu, Angella Pennino Curley of San Francisco, and Bonita Pennino of Richmond; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.


Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)

Of Vienna, Virginia, on Friday, April 10, 1998, at Hospice of Northern Virginia, beloved husband of Martha V. Pennino; father of Donna Howard, Angela Pennino Curley, Bonita Pennino and Walter A. Pennino, Jr. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, April 14, 1998at 9 a.m. at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Friends are to assemble at the Cemetery Administration Building at 8:45 a.m.

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